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E00950: Greek epitaph for the family of Strategis, lector of a church of *Michael (the Archangel, S00181). Found near Strobilos (Bithynia, north-west Asia Minor). After 379 and perhaps before 462.

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posted on 08.12.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
+ ἐνθά̣δ[ε κα-] +
τάκι̣ν[ται Στρ]α[τ-]
ήγις ἀνα[γνώσ]της
τοῦ ἁγίου (καὶ) [ἐνδόξ]ου ἀ-
ρχανγέλου Μι̣χ[αήλ], {I)} υἱω-
ς Μητροδόρου [(καὶ) Κυ]ρίλλα-
ς Λα[πτ]̣ου, (καὶ) τὰ [τέκ]̣να αὐ-
τοῦ τ̣ὰ [γλ]υ[κύτα]τα· Μ-
ήκκη (καὶ) Δώμνο[ς (καὶ) Μη]τρό-
δορος (καὶ) Δώμ̣να ὁρμούμ-
ενοι ἀπὸ τοῦ χορίου Μαλ[ην-]
õ<ν> ὥρον τῆς δευτέρα̣ς
Γαλατίας· τελευτοῦ̣σ-
ιν δὲ μ(ηνὶ) Ὠκτοβρίου, ἀρχῇ
τοῦ ἔτους· ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) πρότης +

1-2. κα]|τάκι̣ν[ται ]. Λ Corsten || 3. ΗΓΙΣΑΝΑ[ ]ΤΗ̣Ε Corsten || 5. Μι̣χ[αὴλ] ̣Ι Corsten || 6-7. ]ρίλλα|ς Corsten || 7. Λα[ ]̣ου Corsten || 8-9. Τ̣α[ ]ΥΕ[ ]ΤΑΜ | ΗΚΚΗ Corsten, Μ|ήκκη = Μ|ίκκα || 11-12. Μαλ[ ] | ΟΜΩΡΟΝ Corsten

'+ Here lie: Strategis, lector (of the church) of the holy and glorious Archangel Michael, son of Metrodoros, and Kyrilla, daughter of Laptos, and his sweetest children: Mikka, and Domnos, and Metrodoros, and Domna, who came from the village of Malenoi in the province of Galatia Secunda. They died in the month of October, at the beginning of the year, in the first indiction +.'

Text: Corsten 1991, no. 3 with the completions by Denis Feissel, published in CEByz, 413.

History

Evidence ID

E00950

Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181

Saint Name in Source

Μιχαήλ

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

379

Evidence not after

600

Activity not before

379

Activity not after

600

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Strobilos

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Strobilos Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Women Children Foreigners (including Barbarians)

Source

A marble plaque found in 1987 at Çiftlikköy near Strobilos (Bithynia, northern Asia Minor). Edited by Thomas Corsten from a drawing by Kaya Zengin (a local schoolmaster). The upper left corner is broken. Preserved dimensions: H. 1.09-1.21 m; W. 0.75 m.

Discussion

The inscription is the epitaph for the family of Strategis, lector of a church of *Michael the archangel. As the family came to Bithynia from Galatia Secunda, where the cult of Michael was widely diffused, one might wonder, whether the church was located in Strobilos or in Malenoi/Malos (?), the home village of Strategis. Beside a peculiar dating formula (which is discussed below) the inscription contains one further interesting feature: it says that the whole family (parents and four children) died in the same month, perhaps the result of a plague or of an accident they had on their journey. Dating: This inscription must postdate the creation of the province of Galatia Secunda, mentioned in lines 12-13, which happened under Theodosius I (379-395) or Arcadius (395-408). There are arguments in favour of it predating 462, since the inscription was probably made when the indiction year still begun on 23 September, because October is called the beginning of the year in lines 14-15. 23 September was originally established as the beginning of the year by Licinius to commemorate the birthday of emperor Augustus (dies natalis Augusti). Later, probably in 462, the beginning of the indiction year was moved to 1 September, see: Feissel 1984, 569-570. However, other explanations are also possible. Our inscription may have nothing to do with the original chronology of the indiction year as some dating formulas refer to the beginning of the year even within the period of the first two months. Venance Grumel argued for yet another possibility – an indiction year beginning in October, but Denis Feissel decisively rejects this supposition.

Bibliography

Edition: Corsten, Th., "Neue Denkmäler aus Bithynien", Epigraphica Anatolica 17 (1991), no. 3. Further reading: Feissel, D., "Sur une inscription de Chalcédoine: le consulat de 452 et le commencement de l'indiction au 23 septembre", Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 108/1 (1984), 569-570. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 413. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 41, 1104.

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